Meet the One by One Digital Fellows

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Phase Three of the One by One project involved recruiting a network of embedded ‘digital fellows’ to lead the action research experiments in partner museums during Phase Four. Meet the new Digital Fellows who have just begun their placements:


Sophie Frost is working with Royal Pavilion and Museums Brighton and Hove

A woman wearing a black top smilingSophie Frost is an interdisciplinary scholar of Visual Culture and Cultural and Creative Industries, based in London. She was recently AHRC Creative Economy Engagement Fellow at CAMEo (Cultural and Media Economies research institute) at University of Leicester, where she undertook a digital impact of study of Phoenix Arts Centre, which lead to the publication of ‘A Digital Road Map for the Arts’ (2019). Sophie lectures on the BA Arts and Festivals Management course at De Montfort University and leads the case study module at Southbank Centre for King’s College London’s MA Education in Arts and Cultural Settings. Sophie also works as a freelance research consultant for a range of arts organisations, including Southbank Centre and Freelands Foundation, an arts education charity established in 2015 by Elisabeth Murdoch.

Sophie says:

“Passionate about the civic role of the arts in society, I am excited to be working on this project which will help cement the perpetuity of our museums and galleries through digital transformation.”

What will this project involve?

Royal Pavilion & Museums’ Digital Fellow will be exploring ‘personal storytelling’: the interpretation of RPM’s collections, buildings and knowledge through the prism of identifiable individuals applying their unique perspective and tone of voice, in contrast to the anonymous authority of the traditional public discourse of the museum. In simpler terms, this will be looking at how museums tell stories with a more personal voice, and what skills and confidences are required to do this.

Kevin Bacon from Royal Pavilion & Museums says:

“Dr Sophie Frost brings a wealth of experience in researching how digital transformation within cultural organisation, and a genuine enthusiasm for RPM’s work and the city of Brighton. She’ll apply very welcome fresh eyes to our practices and assumptions.”

Yoti Goudas is working with Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

A man outside a museum wearing a black topYoti Goudas is a UX consultant, service designer and digital project manager with 20 years of experience working for high profile organisations in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Originally from Toronto, he has worked on and delivered many wide-ranging and complex cross-organisational digital initiatives in both North America and Europe.

Yoti says:

“I am very excited to be working with National Museum Wales, Leicester University and the One by One Project to investigate different methods and best practices that can help increase digital literacy and confidence in the museum sector.”

What will this project involve?

National Museum Wales’ Digital Fellow will be conceiving and testing approaches that help the museum’s staff to develop ideas, confidence and skills in the use of digital platforms, as well as finding ways that build internal communities of practice around their digital work.

Dafydd James from Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales says:

“Yoti brings a strong background in digital UX and project management. His previous work in delivering change projects in large institutions and his practical understanding of digital methodologies will benefit our approaches at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, the largest museum partner in the research project. Yoti’s passion for developing institutional culture and people is clear to see, as well as his interest in the specific context and role of the National Museums in Wales.”

Marco Mason is working with Derby Museums

A man wearing a black top standing in front of a black and white striped wallWith a Ph.D. in Design (2012), Marco Mason is a two times Marie Curie research fellow specializing in Design Research for Digital Cultural Heritage.  He has carried out research and taught in leading research centres such as the School of Museum Studies in Leicester and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that seek an interdisciplinary approach at the intersection of design, digital humanities/heritage, museum studies, and social science for the study of digital media design and its practices.

Marco says:

“Being involved in an action research project exploring the interaction between digital and design, in a real context, taking actions, and working in close contact with museum people. That’s what interests me! And the cutting-edge work that Derby Museums is carrying out offers an interesting (and inspiring) context for exploring future directions.”

What will this project involve?

Derby Museums’ Digital Fellow will help the museum team to think about how to create a moment to stop what they’re doing, reflect honestly and establish what they’re trying to achieve and why. Using Derby Museums as a test bed for applying ideas to live digital projects, they will prototype approaches to creating adaptable conditions for reflection and change across digital projects.

Daniel Martin from Derby Museums says:

“Marco’s background in design thinking means the principles and practices underpinning his work are allied closely with those at Derby Museums. The key to success in this project will be an ability to work and communicate openly and honestly; starting with common values and methodologies is a good foundation for this. Marco’s previous work as a Marie Curie fellow in developing design practice within the heritage sector means he has the professional experience required to meet the aims and challenges of our large brief. His ability to think across individual, institutional and sector-wide perspectives will support the creation of a scalable approach that is purposeful for a wide range of museums.”

Lauren Vargas is working with the National Army Museum and the Museum of London

A woman wearing glasses with a backpack on her shoulderBy day, Lauren ‘L’ Vargas is a digital dragon wrangler based in London, assisting companies with their community and communication strategies. Vargas was previously named by The Economist Intelligence Unit as one of the top 25 social business leaders. She graduated from Harvard in June 2014 with a Masters of Liberal Arts, Museum Studies and is completing a PhD in Museum Studies (focus: digital data collection and use) with an estimated April 2019 graduation. As a professional and adjunct university instructor, Vargas enables organizations and students to engage with the communities they serve by fostering authentic relationships built on trust and dynamic dialogue.

L says:

“The ‘museum of the future’ is much more than an aspirational state and requires the creation of a new complex system to solve for multi-dimensional problems. One by One is the spark needed to identify and create the conditions needed to understand how we grow as professionals to enable and model the change we seek.”

What will these projects involve?

The National Army Museum’s One by One project will focus on how the Museum can reposition digital leadership. The research will explore the value of a digital hub or working group as a site for shared skills development, and how that can be employed to deliver on a fully integrated digital component of what the Museum does.

Ian Maine from the National Army Museum says:

“Lauren Vargas is ideally placed to do this. She has a keen appreciation of the organisational, technological and process dimensions involved in providing an environment to enable the changes involved in addressing the focus of this research, and ensuring it will also have value in Museums which face similar challenges.”

The Museum of London’s One by One project focuses on giving museum people the digital skills and resources they need to do their jobs on a practical, day-by-day basis, starting with the content they publish online and on social media. This project will give staff new tools to coordinate their digital work, establish common reporting methods and metrics to shape their planning, and build expertise and confidence in producing digital content across the organisation.

Alwyn Collinson from the Museum of London says:

“Lauren Vargas is an ideal candidate to be the Museum of London’s Digital Fellow, based on both her academic interests and her past experience in the private sector. She brings to the museum expertise honed at Fidelity Investments and Aetna Insurance, where she helped to transform their digital work to produce community-driven, engaging content guided by the organisation’s strategic needs.”

Karin de Wild is working with National Museums Scotland

A woman wearing a black jacketKarin de Wild is passionate about interdisciplinary research in digital heritage and collaborated with a wide range of museums. Among others, she was part of the research projects Sustaining Ruby: Preservation Strategies for Internet Art (2017, SFMOMA, San Francisco) and Collecting and Curating Digital Posters (2017, Victoria and Albert Museum, London). In 2016, she co-organized the conference Digital Horizons, Virtual Selves: Rethinking Cultural Heritage in the Museum about digital heritage in anthropological museums (Research Centre for Material Culture, Leiden).

Karin says:

“It is very exciting to be part of a research project that supports museums to open their doors to the future.”

What will this project involve?

National Museums Scotland is working with individuals across the museums to explore how they might help them to identify the digital skills they have and the skills they need in their specific museum contexts. They hope to help people improve where they need to, in order to be more effective in their roles and to have a positive impact on those around them.

Rob Cawston from National Museums Scotland says:

“Dr Karin de Wild brings a wealth of knowledge to the Digital Research Fellow role at National Museums Scotland including a past life as a museum curator and a PhD focussing on digital collections, including experience running research within a range of museums – from Tate and the V&A to SFMOMA.”

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